Local Government trading companies, whilst dating back to the 19th century have become highly prevalent in the austerity era.
The need to do more with less has driven local authorities to consider different ways of working. However, there is a growing recognition that this is not just about cutting costs – the generation of revenue must also play its part.
Over the years we have explored in a range of reports how making the right decision regarding model can make all the difference to success – identifying the opportunities and risks seen in some of the more common models e.g. wholly owned, joint ventures and social enterprises.
In our latest report "In Good Company", launched in September 2018, we identified that if there is a social motive rather than a profit one, a social enterprise model is often the preferred option.
Social enterprises are becoming increasingly common vehicles for delivering services that are not an ‘essential’ service for an authority but still important to the local community.
If you are a local authority looking to transition a public service to a social enterprise model certain factors will be key to your success including: leadership, continuing the culture, branding, staff reward and secure income stream.
In considering a social enterprise model for delivering a service, it is vital to be clear on the right model of social enterprise, the income stream is sustainable, a clear business plan is in place; and to develop the right structures and involve the right people early.